Hon. Paul L. Beeman (Ret.)

Profile

With nearly 18 years of judicial service, Judge Beeman has presided over a wide variety of civil matters and brings that wealth of experience to his dispute resolution services.  Judge Beeman served as Presiding Judge and Supervising Civil Judge of the Solano County Superior Court, and was the Chairman of the Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee for 12 years.  He specializes in settling cases involving personal injury, product liability, employment, real estate, construction defect, insurance, professional malpractice, CEQA, as well as complex asbestos litigation and toxic tort claims.

Prior to his years on the bench, Judge Beeman spent over 26 years as a trial lawyer in private practice, where he tried more than 30 civil and criminal jury trials, and arbitrated and mediated more than 150 cases.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Environmental / Toxic Tort
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate

JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE

Court Leadership:

  • Supervising Civil Judge            2017
  • Presiding Judge           2012-2013
  • Assistant Presiding Judge       2010-2011
  • Supervising Judge, Vallejo Branch Court        2008-2011

Judicial Assignments:

  • Appellate Division      2004-2005, 2016-2017
  • Civil / CEQA      2004-2011, 2014-2017
  • Criminal (Felonies)     2002-2003
  • Juvenile           2000-2001

Court Committees :

  •  Chair, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee         2005-2017
  •  Member, Court Executive Committee           2008-2013, 2017

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

  • Partner, Law Offices of Beeman & Beeman
    Specialized in personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice and federal tort claims.        1973-2000
  • Legal Clerk (SPC5), United States Army      1969-1971

EDUCATION

  • Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University  2004-2014
  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D.  1973
  • California State College at Hayward, B.A., Political Science  1968

ADMISSIONS AND LICENSURES

  • United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit     1974
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California     1974
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of California     1973
  • State Bar of California    1973

ORGANIZATIONS AND AWARDS

  • Executive Board Member, California Judges Association   2013-2016
  • Law Day Liberty Bell Award, Solano County Bar Association   2008
  • Solano County Bar Association Representative, Superior Court Community Focused Planning Committee   1998-2000
  • Member and Chair, City of Vallejo Planning Commission   1997-2000
  • Co-Founder and Participating Member, Lawyers in the Library   1995-2000
  • Board Member, Fighting Back Partnership   2000-2011

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

  • Faculty/Moderator, CEB Courses Regarding Evidence and Discovery.     2014-2015
  • Faculty, Straus Institute, “Mediating The Litigated Case”
    Taught mediation skills to the judiciary and lawyers in Uganda.     2014
  • Co-sponsored Straus Institute training sessions on mediation for Solano County judges and attorneys.    2009-2013

Representative Cases

BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL

  • Breach of Contract: There was a verbal agreement between Plaintiff and Defendant to pay off several loans and reduce interest. A dispute arose between parties as to the accrued interest. Defendant breached the terms of the loans by failing to pay Plaintiff the principal.
  • Commercial: Defendant ordered wine bottles from Plaintiff. Defendant was charged for those bottles plus an additional amount for wine bottles they never ordered and were not delivered. Defendant claimed the bottles they did receive were defective, which caused them to lose a supply contract with a major company.

CONSTRUCTION

  • Construction Defect: New single-family dwellings designed and constructed by Defendants had multiple construction defects. Defendants failed to comply with building codes. After being given notice of defects, Defendants failed to rectify the complaints pursuant to warranty.
  • Construction Defect: The owners of approximately 29 single family homes sued the developer claiming a variety of defects with the development, design, and construction of the houses.
  • Statewide Class Action: Metal window frames manufactured by Defendant malfunctioned, causing damage to other property.
  • Construction Defect: Dispute between general contractor, subcontractors, insurance carriers and governmental parties regarding delayed construction of Officers’ Quarters at Travis Air Force Base.

ELDER ABUSE

  • Financial Elder Abuse: Accounting errors by the bank incorrectly identified Plaintiff as being in default on her mortgage loan. The loan servicer for Plaintiff’s mortgage began collection efforts, even though she was current on her payments. The bank made incorrect and/or misleading reports to credit reporting agencies and charged her interest on the latest loan modification even though it was supposed to be non-interest bearing. The bank also erroneously reported to the IRS that no mortgage interest had been paid and failed to correct the error for many months.

EMPLOYMENT

  • Breach of Duty of Loyalty: Defendant worked for Plaintiff as an assistant editor. While still employed by Plaintiff, Defendant secretly wrote articles for a competing publication. Plaintiff was damaged by loss of advertisers to the competing publication, by being deprived of articles written that should have been published by Plaintiff, and for paying Defendant her full salary when her work was compromised by her work for a competitor.
  • Disability Discrimination: Plaintiff worked for Defendant for 5 years. For the first 4 years of his employment he received positive job performance appraisals and merit increases. Plaintiff filed a worker’s compensation claim because of carpal tunnel syndrome in his left hand and requested accommodations from Defendant for his injuries. No help or accommodation was provided, and Plaintiff was subsequently fired.
  • Racial Discrimination, Retaliation, and Harassment: Injuries and damages suffered by Plaintiff were alleged to have been caused by the racially hostile and offensive conduct of the Defendants.
  • Wrongful Termination: Plaintiff was former COO and VP and is a current stockholder/owner of company. Based on Defendant’s promise of employment, Plaintiff took out a home equity loan to help the company with a cash flow problem. Plaintiff’s employment was terminated after he requested payment for accrued commissions and vacation pay. Defendant claimed that Plaintiff’s contract was not renewed because of his lack of management skills and his inability to get along with Defendant’s wife, who had taken over management responsibilities.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination: Plaintiff alleged a violation of pregnancy disability leave law, sexual discrimination, wrongful termination, and retaliation. Defendant claimed no liability and asserted a “clerical error” that occurred when the restaurant that Plaintiff had worked at changed ownership as the reason she was not rehired.
  • Age Discrimination: Plaintiff was General Manager of a country club and had been employed by them for almost 17 years. Plaintiff claimed he was terminated based on age discrimination, retaliation for firing the Board President’s son, and for blowing the whistle on the Board President for allowing a third party to review employee files. The Defendant maintained that the Plaintiff was not performing his job satisfactorily and was resistant to the implementation of new ideas to enhance the Club experience.
  • Disability Discrimination: Plaintiff was born with cerebral palsy and has limited use of her right hand. She worked at a call center inputting information into their computer system using a keyboard and mouse solely with her left hand. After carpal tunnel surgery on her left hand, her doctor recommended that she be given voice recognition software as an accommodation. Plaintiff sought damages for lost wages and emotional stress. She claimed discrimination because of her disability, that Defendant failed to reasonably accommodate her disability, and that Defendant failed to engage in the interactive process to determine effective reasonable accommodations for her disability.
  • Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA): Plaintiff attempted to operate a lever on a rail car that was in defective condition and malfunctioned, causing severe injuries to his right arm and elbow. Defendants failed to maintain, inspect, and repair lever which caused Plaintiff’s injuries.

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LEMON LAW

  • Lemon Law: Plaintiff purchased a new vehicle and began experiencing issues with the vehicle just a few months after purchase. The Defendant failed to offer a remedy under the California Lemon Law.

PERSONAL INJURY

  • Construction Site Injury. Plaintiff, a CHP officer, was working an overnight shift on a road construction site. Defendant was employed by the construction company. As the officer was getting her cruiser into position to create a traffic break so that construction equipment could be moved to the shoulder of the interstate, the front loader driven by Defendant turned abruptly into the lane that the officer was driving in, causing the bucket of the loader to cut a deep gash the whole length of the Plaintiff’s cruiser. The impact caused Plaintiff to sustain injuries to her back and shoulder.
  • Auto Accident: Rear-end motor vehicle collision. 23-year-old Plaintiff was scheduled to start college varsity football. He was deemed disabled by his treating physician and suffers from chronic back pain and depression. Defendant’s expert speculated that Plaintiff’s continued problems derive from his psychosomatic attempt to avoid adult responsibilities.
  • Auto Accident: Defendant entered an intersection against a red traffic light. Both Plaintiffs had plasma disc decompression at the referral of their counsel. This procedure brought minimal relief to one Plaintiff and no relief to the other. Defendant disputed any medical bills associated with the plasma disc decompression as well as a claim of lifetime disability by one of the Plaintiffs.
  • Auto Accident: Accident occurred at an intersection when Defendant made a left turn from a frontage road and struck Plaintiff’s vehicle. Defendant found to be responsible based on an unsafe turning movement. Plaintiff suffered from severe ongoing lower back pain. Surgery required.
  • Auto Accident: Each party maintained that their light was green when they entered the intersection. The investigating officer was unable to determine the cause of the collision. Defendant claimed no liability.
  • Auto Accident: Rear-end motor vehicle collision. Plaintiff didn’t complain of injuries at the scene. Later was treated by a chiropractor. Defendant disputed the amount of damages.
  • Auto Accident: Rear-end motor vehicle collision. Defendant disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s injuries, as well as whether Plaintiff’s treatment was reasonable and necessary.
  • Auto Accident: Rear-end motor vehicle collision. Defendant disputed the nature and extent of the injury and damage to the Plaintiff and her vehicle.
  • Auto Accident: Plaintiffs sustained significant injuries as a result of the collision. Defendant’s vehicle struck Plaintiff’s vehicle head-on. Defendant asserted that most of the Plaintiff’s treatment was not related to this accident. Defendant alleged Plaintiff’s injuries were minimal, and their demands exceeded the reasonable value of their claims.
  • Bicycle/Railroad Tracks: Premises liability, dangerous condition of public property. Failure to warn. Plaintiff suffered a severe shoulder injury.
  • Motorcycle Accident: A tire separated from a trailer being towed by a Peterbilt Tractor. While attempting to avoid a collision, Plaintiff, who was driving a motorcycle, lost control of his vehicle and went down. Plaintiff contended that the Defendants were negligent in their maintenance and inspection of their vehicle.
  • Premises Liability: Plaintiff was negligently sprayed with toxic chemicals by a helicopter while on the Defendant’s property. No warning of the spraying was provided by Defendants to Plaintiff. Plaintiff developed serious neurological injuries as a result.
  • Negligence: Lawsuit arises from a power press injury. Defendant removed the point of operation guard and instructed workers to use the machine without a functioning guard.
  • Slip and Fall: Liability not contested. Defendant alleged that the cause of Plaintiff’s ongoing symptoms was not related to the fall and disputed damages.
  • Slip and Fall: Plaintiff slipped on water. MRI showed torn meniscus. Conservative treatment with physical therapy did not improve symptoms. Surgery required.
  • Trip and Fall: Plaintiff caught her foot on a rolled-up carpet and fractured her right foot.
  • Toxic Tort: Plaintiff’s 15-year-old son died as a result of an E. coli infection after drinking water from a hose bib on his parent’s property. Repairs made by Defendant inside the drinking water main were done with tools that had not been disinfected. Unclean sewer tools most likely caused the infection. Defendant claimed that the tools used were specific to water main repairs and not used for sewer or septic lines. The tools used were not examined or tested.
  • Wrongful Death: A 12-year-old boy died and his friend suffered permanent injuries when they were hit by a garbage truck while skateboarding. Plaintiffs claim that shrubs near the intersection were overgrown and blocked sight lines in violation of municipal code. Defendants claim that the boys acted recklessly by going through a stop sign.

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PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE

  • Malpractice by Real Estate Appraisal. A homeowner applied to Plaintiff, a mortgage bank, for a loan secured by a second deed of trust on her home. Plaintiff ordered a drive-by appraisal by Defendant. Plaintiff, relying on the appraisal report, approved the loan and subsequently sold the loan to an institutional investor. The appraisal value was based upon sales of three properties which were not comparable. The homeowner defaulted on the loan. Plaintiff suffered damages after it was required to repurchase the loan after it went into default.
  • Dental Malpractice: Defendant failed to properly diagnose, treat, and/or refer Plaintiff for periodontal disease. These failures left Plaintiff with injuries which included loss of teeth, bone and the development of temporomandibular joint disease.
  • Medical Malpractice: During surgery for a total knee replacement, Defendant lacerated Plaintiff’s popliteal artery, causing an internal hemorrhage, which led to the development of a compartment syndrome. Defendant failed to diagnose the compartment syndrome until it had caused permanent nerve damage.
  • Professional Malpractice: Plaintiff suffered a tear to her ear drum during a fitting procedure. Defendant’s carrier denied insurance coverage based on a “professional services” exclusion contained in the insurance policy.

REAL ESTATE

  • Breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and promissory fraud: Defendant had agreed to pay a brokerage commission on the sale of real property. Plaintiff introduced the Buyer to Defendants, showed the property to Buyer, arranged meetings of the Buyer and Seller, and attempted to negotiate an offer on the Seller’s behalf. Defendant later sold the property through another agent and refused to pay a commission to Plaintiff.
  • Title Dispute: Plaintiff purchased property as a single and unmarried woman with title in her name alone. Plaintiff married, but husband held no rights to the property. Plaintiff’s daughter’s name was added to the title to protect against claims by husband. After Plaintiff & her husband divorced, Plaintiff and Defendant (her daughter) agreed to reverse changes to the title. When it came time to sign the Deed papers, Defendant refused to take her name off the title.
  • Unlawful Detainer: Plaintiff and Defendant were co-signers on a residential mortgage. Defendant failed to make agreed upon payments and refused to move out once foreclosure proceedings began. Plaintiff filed unlawful detainer proceedings and had Defendant removed. The bank set aside the foreclosure and invited the Defendant back into the property but made no demand on Defendant to make payments.
  • Partition Dispute: The partition of two properties owned in joint tenancy. There was a dispute as to whether Plaintiff was entitled to reimbursement, attorney fees and costs asserted as to one of the two properties.

SUBROGATION

  • Plaintiff sought to recoup payments made to insured due to a residential fire. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant negligently installed an electrical outlet at the insured’s residence. The electrical outlet failed causing extensive fire damage. It was also alleged that the composite product used for decking accelerated the spread of the fire.
  • Restaurant kitchen fire caused by design defect in improvements completed in violation of building and fire codes; failure to inspect and service.
  • A house fire occurred as a result of work performed by Defendant. Plaintiff issued payments for the necessary repairs. Plaintiff sought damages from Defendant based on a claim of negligence.

UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES / FRAUD

  • Negotiations for an economical and reliable used car were conducted in Spanish, but the contract Plaintiff was asked to sign was in English. Defendant failed to provide Plaintiff with a Spanish-language version of the contract. Defendants sold Plaintiff a defective “certified pre-owned” vehicle. That vehicle was returned, and a friend of Plaintiff co-signed for a second “certified pre-owned” vehicle. The dealership failed to disclose that that vehicle had been used as a rental and had been in an accident. Plaintiff’s expert found the vehicle to be unsafe to drive. Defendants failed to repair the vehicle or buy it back.